Monday, 18 February 2013

What Happens?

A few months ago my husband and I went to the arena tour of Dancing on Ice, he wasn't too keen but accompanied me to keep me happy. I waited at the entrance to the hall while he went to the cashline which was at the other end of the exhibition hall.
As I waited I watched people come in from the windy night outside and enter the hall, some waited alongside me  for friends to join then, some stood in a queue to buy programmes. I noticed a couple of women in their late forties or early fifties, they were smiling and laughing as they  greeted two elderly ladies, maybe their mother and aunt, as they greeted each other with a hugs and a kisses I felt my eyes fill with tears and I immediately thought of my mum and my aunt. I had a feeling akin to jealousy, that although the ladies were around the same age as me they still had elderly relatives.
Later on that evening after the show I thought about it a lot. I am the oldest in my family I am the top of the pack, the elder. How did that happen? I remember having a gran, parents, aunts and uncles, all gone now and I am now where they once were.

Its a scary thought as I still feel like a young girl inside. I thought my parents and my gran were very wise and could fix anything that came their way, that they were responsible adults and I the child looked after and loved by them. I depended on them and could always be assured of their unconditional love and support in anything I undertook.

Time has a way of moving forward and taking loved ones away from you, life moves on, we move on and change from being the youngest in the family to the oldest, the matriarch.
Thinking of that has scared me, as I am now in my mother's place and one day my daughter will inevitably be in my place and that will mean I will no longer be here.
I still wonder how it's possible that my parents are no longer here, where are they? What happens when you die ? I refuse to believe it all ends, my brain can't comprehend the nothingness of it all.
Surely it's better to cling to the hope of an afterlife? To think of our lost loved ones in a place far better than this, where we will eventually join them.
My mother-in-law asked me not long before she died what I thought happened. I know she asked me because I always went to church, something she had never done, she thought I had inside information.
I didn't, and  answered in the only way I could, the only way that would give her some comfort in her last weeks with us. I said I thought when you die a loved one is waiting to guide you to a far better place than this, it would probably be her husband who had passed fifteen years before and she missed so much. She said that would be lovely and she would be glad to see him again. 
I didn't lie to her, this is what I believe happens and surely it's better to have hope and believe in a heaven after all if it turns out not to be true we'll never know anyway.


17 comments:

  1. I've wondered about that too....what's out there if anything after death. There's no proof. Some people have had near death experiences but how do we know it's not just the brain 'shorting out' as it starts to shut down? The last thing you think of is the family that's gone b/f you, and of course we've all heard the stories of the 'white light'. I thought that if there really was an afterlife, my dad would have tried to contact me because despite his devout Catholicism, he didn't believe in an afterlife. And my ex husband was an atheist although accepted god/jesus on his deathbed, so I thought if anyone would contact me it would be him. It's creepy to think about....

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  2. I definitely believe that there is life after death - a belief based on my reading of both bits of the Bible. I may be wrong... the writers may be wrong, but it certainly gives me both comfort, and a reason to do some of the 'mad' stuff I do. I also believe that there is a God who cares about us, and is available to help us. And angels. Don't get me on angels - I swear I've experienced 'angelic' people coming alongside and lifting me out of the despair that sometimes almost overwhelms. As you know, I don't 'ram' my beliefs down people's throats. But they help me enormously. xxx

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  3. I agree with everything you've just said Carol and hope with all my heart it's the way things are.

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  4. I'm the same ,if I see an elderly man with an overcoat and a cap I always just for a split second think its my dad.

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  5. Thanks Jo. That's why I like to think there is something else it would drive me mad if I thought I'd never see them again.

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  6. I think we just have to believe those who say they have had proof although I'd love to be one of them it might scare the life out of me.

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  7. Hello Anne, you have brought a tear to my eye, as I too have been thinking about the same topic. For the last two years, I have very much made every day count in lots of ways...

    I too think someone you love will be waiting for you in a better place.

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  8. I think it's something we all think of more the older we get.

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  9. I have had this on my mind since my mother-in-law died last year. She was the first person I have seen dead (not a very nice way of putting it), and I was surprised to feel no attachment to her body. As she lay there all I could do was wonder where she had gone. I hadn't really thought about it before, and I don't quite know what I believe, but I'm waiting patiently for her to contact me.

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  10. I'm undecided. I've written several stories that deal with ghosts/afterlife in some form or another, and each one is different. I know something happens though, just not what.

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  11. Hi Anne,
    I am visiting from A to Z and so glad I was led here today. I too became the matriarch of my family a few years ago when my mom died. It was a strange feeling to take that place as you so aptly describe in your post. I do miss those who have held the wisdom and gone on it seems too early.

    I have faith and hope in the afterlife because I do believe in the God of the Bible. As a Christian who believes that the evidence in the Word of God far out weighs any evidence to the contrary, I find a great deal of peace in the assurances I find there. I pray you too will find that peace. God bless, Maria

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  12. I'd love the answer to this one. I don't believe in an afterlife and yet - I know my dad must be 'up there somewhere' watching over me (or keeping an eye on his football team probably :o)) As a child, I remember asking our Sunday School vicar what happened when people died. He swore that, if it were possible, he'd find a way to let me know after he'd died. I'm still waiting...

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  13. I always think my mum would have let me know if there was something but I can also imagine her not wanting to scare me and saying I'm best left alone.

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  14. I believe with all my heart in eternal life, I hope and pray that I'll go to heaven and as I mentioned in my other comment. I think that my dad, grandparents and my son and daughter would be there to greet me on my final day. In fact I'm counting on it!

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  15. Hi Anne, I've not had much chance for blog reading so having a catch up in my lunch hour. A great post, it does make you think and it is scary. I hate to think that when are time is up there is nothing else. I like to think there is an afterlife. It's a much nicer thought then the alternative. It must be so weird the realisation that you are at the top of the family now. It is something even at my age I have thought about mainly because as you know we can't have children and I think gosh what will happen when we are old, who will visit us or make sure we are alright? That does scare me but I have my niece and nephew and Godchildren who I would hope in the future we continue to stay close to my friends children In fact when I do get older I really want to be known as the crazy but fun Aunt! ;D

    I digress, this post did touch me though.

    Kate :)

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  16. Kate I had an aunt who had no children I called my second mother and I loved her to bits she did all the things with me my mum never had time or wanted to do. She introduced me to the theatre and eating in restaurants probably because she never had children she could afford those things.
    I think it's better to believe.

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